Erythophloei Cortex. Sassy Bark.
Synonyms.—Mancona Bark; Red Water Bark; Casca Bark.
Sassy bark is obtained from Erythrophloeum guineense,G. Don (N.O. Leguminosae), a large tree indigenous to the West Coast of Africa. Other species also possibly yield some of the sassy bark of commerce. The bark is collected from the trunk and branches; it occurs in hard, heavy, curved or flat pieces, often from 7.5 to 10 centimetres long, 5 to 7.5 centimetres wide, and 5 to 9 millimetres thick. The outer surface is warty and irregular, and of a dark reddish colour, often exhibiting, in the older pieces, large conchoidal depressions. The inner surface is longitudinally striated, and is of a dark reddish-brown or black colour. The fracture is short and granular. The transverse section exhibits a narrow brown cork, a narrower and darker cortex separated from the bast by a pale line of sclerenchymatous cells. The bast contains numerous paler groups of sclerenchymatous cells embedded in a reddish-brown parenchymatous tissue. The drug has no odour, and only a slightly bitter, astringent taste.
Constituents.—Sassy bark contains a poisonous alkaloid, erythrophloeine, which resembles digitalis in its properties.
Action and Uses.—A tincture of sassy bark is prepared for use as a cardiac tonic, but is not much prescribed, as it is irritant and apt to cause vomiting and diarrhoea.
- Tinctura Erythrophloei, B.P.C.—TINCTURE OF SASSY BARK. Syn.—Tincture of Casca. 1 in 10.
- Dose.—3 to 6 decimils (0.3 to 0.6 milliliters) (5 to 10 minims).